My First Quarterly Shipment

Just this week I received my first Quarterly Co shipment. Quarterly is a great startup that will send you physical items from people that you subscribe to. I’m sure you’ve heard of some of these services that send you a box per month of stuff. Quarterly is sort of like that but you get a box each quarter from a contributor that you subscribe to. It is basically like getting a box of cool stuff from someone you follow and are interested in. Some contributors include Veronica Belmont, Tim Ferriss, Chris Guillebeau and Pharrell Williams.

Each contributors cost is different, but they range from $25 to $100. Being a fan of Tim Ferriss I subscribed to him for $100 and just this week I received #TIM02, which was Tim’s second Quarterly shipment.

And here is what it included:

Edible Green Tea Powdered – $25
LSTN In-Ear Headphones – $50
Alpha Brain – $34.95
AMRAP Nutrition Bars – $23.95
Mini Work Tool – $9.95
Creative Whack Pack – $16
Spectacle (Book) – $33.80
Donors Choose Gift Card – $20

Total value: $213.65

Not bad getting all of that for $100! Here is Tim explaining each of the products in the box.

I think this service is great. I read Tim’s blog and I have his books so getting a box of goodies that he uses or is interested in is very cool. Even though you don’t know what’s in the box before you get it there is a good chance you are going to be interested in it since you decided to subscribe to that person. Also there is the excitement of getting the package as you don’t know what you are getting.

If you are interested in Quarterly check out their list of contributors and see if there is someone you are interested in. I’m really excited for the next Tim Ferriss shipment!

Building an Engaging Facebook Community

Facebook is one of the best places to build a community and help promote your brand and your website or blog. To be honest for a while I was very lazy when it came to Facebook marketing for ThinkComputers. Our “Likes” remained the same and there was not much engagement at all. This is never good if the end goal is to bring people from Facebook to the website. Over the past month I have really took the time to see what works on Facebook and how to get users engaged.

So many people think having the most followers or likes is best, but is it really? Say you have 5,000 likes on Facebook, but only 100 of those fans are engaged. That means if you post something at most 100 of those fans will even see your post yet even click on the link back to your website. On the other hand if I have 500 fans on Facebook and they all are engaged I have a better chance of people seeing my post and clicking the link back to my website. This is true for pretty much all social networks.

One thing that is great about Facebook is that they show publically how many engaged users you have. They call it “talking about this” and list is right by the number of likes your page has. Some pretty well known websites have horrible likes to “talking about this ratios”. Something like 16,000 likes but only 100 people talking about the site.

These people are not marketing their Facebook pages correctly and could be potentially losing sales, traffic to their website and much more. I would say a 5% ratio of Likes to “Talking about this” is good, but anything over 10% and you are doing a good job! Where does ThinkComputers sit?

That puts us at 36%, which is very good! So how do we get there? And how can you surge engagement like you see in the graph at the top of the page? There is no sure fire way that will work, but here is what I have done to get ThinkComputers where it is.

Constant Content
If you are going to want users to engage on your Facebook page you are going to want to post content. If you are a content site like ThinkComputers this is easy, but for other types of sites this may be hard. I would say at the very least post 1 post a day. Constant content will keep people coming back to your Facebook page and will also make it more likely that your posts will show up in the news feed.

Ask Questions
We use Facebook to try and bring people to our website, but you cannot make every post about that. Every once in awhile ask a question to your users. You would be surprised at the response. People are much more likely to comment when you ask a question and after they make that first comment they are more likely to keep on commenting on other posts. Questions are also a great way to gauge what your community is most interested in.

Post with Images
This is a big one, every post you make should contain an image. So many people are lazy and just let WordPress auto-post to Facebook, but that just puts a link on there with a small thumbnail. If you use a larger image the post will get more traction and people will be more likely to share the photo as well. Also the larger image takes up more real estate on a user’s news feed so it will get more attention. Don’t be lazy, schedule your posts through Facebook using a large image for each post.

Contests are a great way to get new likes and spread the word about your page. Give something away and require users to Like your page and share a contest photo (example). This way you are getting new likes plus that person is spreading the word about your page which will lead to new likes and even more shares of your photo. Also if you team up with a company to give away one of their products make sure you ask them to post about it on their Facebook page as well.

Check Stats
The best thing about Facebook pages is that you can track everything. The Page Insights show you likes, people talking about your page, friends of fans, weekly total reach and much more. You can even see the reach of each of your individual posts. Use this information to refine things and see what works best.

So that is how I’ve really started to build the ThinkComputers Facebook community. If you have any questions or want to share your tips leave them in the comments below.

Work and Getting Things Done…

Hey blog! It’s been a while! It really has and I really need to get back into blogging. At the end of the day it is good to sit down and let the words flow out. Also I always look back at old blog posts to see what I was up to. I have been blogging since 2005 so it is great to look back.

Pittsburgh, PA (Greenfield Area) – May 8th 2013

Anyways back to what this post is about…getting things done. Do you ever feel like there is just not enough time in the day? That you are always behind on your work? This happens to me constantly and you would think by now I would have a handle on it, but I never do. There are many reasons for it, but let’s not get into that right now. Let’s talk about how to fix it.

So many times I wake up in the morning and I go “Damn I have so much work to do!”, but do I really? I am a master of procrastination so that never helps. You know if someone told me “hey let’s go to a Penguins game I have free tickets” and the game was in an hour you bet your ass I would get my work done before that. Think about that, when there is something important we will get all of our work done. But the thing is important things do not happen that often so what do we do? I have a couple of tips to help you get things done.

Set a Prize
Do you remember how awesome it was to get a prize for doing something good in school? This is the same thing. Set a goal and a prize associated with that goal. Say for me it would be to have 5 reviews written in three days. If I do that maybe I’ll treat myself to a nice dinner. This may sound stupid, but when you reinforce goals with prizes it does tend to help.

The 1 Hour Rule
I put things off, like I said I am a procrastinator. Work can suck sometimes and it can be a pain to complete the most important tasks of the day. I tell myself let me work on this one important task for an hour. I usually knock out this important task and now I have the rest of the day to complete the easier and less stressful tasks.

Another way to really get things done is to just stop what you are doing and ask yourself “how can I get this done in 15 minutes”, believe me it works. Doing this really helps you be effective rather than just slowly doing work tasks.

This is a productivity technique of breaking time down into 25-minute intervals with 5 minute breaks in between. So you work for 25 minutes, take a 5 minute break then back to work for 25 minutes and so on. This again helps you be effective and really limits distractions.

Hopefully these tips help you get work done! I know I need to use them more, if I did you would see more blog posts!

A Busy Start to 2013

I never really expeted 2013 to be as busy as it has been, but overall it is not a bad thing. As you may have noticed I have not updated this blog in over a month! I haven’t been lazy, it just has not been a priority to me. So what have I been up to? Lets see…

ThinkComputers remains to be my #1 priority. As busy as I am with it I have put even more work on myself as we have started a whole new news section (which I write 90% of the content), but it has been a success so far. People come back to the site each day to see what the daily tech news is etc.

While I am also still writing most of the reviews on the site I have been actively looking for more staff. I have found someone to cover CPU coolers and cooling, which does help out a lot. I’ve also been using MyBlogGuest to find relevant articles to help fill the void when I have too much going on. The goal is to keep on looking for staff to help with reviews and news. That way I can concentrate on really managing the site.

CES was very motivational for me. I could see what other sites were doing and I really took in everything and I want to make ThinkComputers better. On both a content standpoint and for the users that come to the site. I have removed the annoying video ad and changed some other things around. While this move will cut into overall income it should keep people coming back.

A Few Other Projects
I have been doing a little web design / consulting on the site for a few friends. It has actually worked out pretty well and they love the websites that I have built for them. I eventually want to turn that into a real business. I have a name for the company and domain already. I should have everything in place by the summer to take on more clients.

Another project in the works in a how-to site. I really can’t go into specifics right now, but I have been creating content for it since I’ve been back from CES. I hope to launch the site by the end of summer.

The biggest thing I have been trying to keep up with is a “high level of work”, basically working hard each day and really accomplishing things. It sort of took a while to get caught back up at the beginning of the year, but they past few weeks have been really great. Hopefully I can keep it up and keep you updated on the progress of things on this blog!

I think this picture below explains it best…

Wicked Spoon at The Cosmopolitan

The Cosmopolitan is slowly becoming one of my favorite hotels in Las Vegas. When you walk in it has that cool feel, some of my best nights in Vegas have started at The Chandelier and Marquee is one of the best clubs in Vegas. This year I had the chance to eat at Wicked Spoon, which is the Cosmopolitan’s buffet.

The event was actually held by Thermaltake as a gathering of media and friends. Walking in it really has a different feel than many of the other buffets in Vegas, although you should expect that as the Hotel is only 2 years old. I was surprised at how much food there actually was, quite a lot to choose from. The photo below shows some of my plates, although I had about twice as many! I really did pig out!

One thing I really liked about Wicked Spoon was that many of the selections were served in cool little dishes or serving plates. This not only made each thing seem special but it allowed you to really try a lot of different things. Most buffets you just choose something and end up taking a lot of it and get full.

One thing that I really enjoyed were the mini salads. As many of you know I am a huge salad fan and they had a few different mini salads to choose from. My favorite was a sort of mixed green and herb salad that had little pieces of fish in it.

All of the meats were excellent. They had many different selections from ribs to chicken wings, but the two that I really enjoyed were the Prime Rib and bone marrow. Although I had to point to which bone marrow I wanted as many of them were overcooked.

There was an entire section of deserts. They had pretty much anything you could imagine, even a full selection of different ice creams. You just walk up and tell them which one you want and they put it in a nice little cup for you. Again so you can try more than one thing.

I ate so much that I did not even notice the crab legs. Apparently there were king crab legs at the buffet, but even though I missed them I was more than satisfied with everything. Each of the little dishes I selected had a very rich taste and were unique. The only thing I would say was weak was the sushi selection and soup, but again all of the other great food really made up for it.

If you are in Vegas and are looking to eat a lot and have an extremely large selection make sure you check out Wicked Spoon.

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